The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) announced on Monday that its highest-paid presenter, Gary Lineker, would be reinstated, possibly ending a feud that had come close to turning into a mutiny at the broadcaster.
The BBC was forced to cancel most of its sports coverage on Saturday and Sunday, after broadcasters and analysts refused to work in solidarity with Lineker, who has criticized the government’s immigration policy in Britain.
The BBC’s decision to suspend Linker drew criticism from workers and the opposition, claiming that the body, known for its political neutrality, came under government pressure, before Prime Minister Rishi Sunak intervened and said he hoped the crisis would be resolved as soon as possible.
Lineker thanked everyone for their support after announcing his comeback.
Lineker wrote on Twitter: “I have been presenting BBC Sports for nearly three decades and am very proud to be working with the best and fairest broadcaster in the world.
And he added in his talk about immigrants: My last perception. However difficult the past few days have been, they simply don’t compare to having to flee your home due to persecution or war and looking for a faraway place to go. It is gratifying to follow the sympathy from so many of you for their plight.
The BBC had decided to suspend Linker for breaching neutrality regulations after he compared the style of British Home Secretary Soyla Braverman to the language spoken in Germany in the 1930s.
The former England striker, Lineker, previously sheltered refugees in his home, and is now famous for presenting one of the most famous sports programs, as he began presenting the “Match of the Day” program to analyze and show clips from matches in 1999.
Tim Davie, director general of the broadcaster, who took over in 2020, said in a statement on Monday that Linker was an important part of the BBC.
He added: I look forward to him presenting our coverage early next week.
Davey confirmed that Linker had agreed to abide by the existing regulations until a review of the regulations for dealing with social media is completed.
Lineker showed his support for Davey and said he had an almost impossible task to keep everyone happy, especially on the part of neutrality.
Linker, who played for Leicester, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona, is the highest paid BBC, earning more than 1.3 million pounds in the 2021-2022 season.